Gluten Free is heard everywhere nowadays. It’s seems to be as popular as the vegan diet years ago.
Unfortunately gluten free is not a fad, or a diet, it is a way of life for those with Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity.
Those of us, including myself, need to check everything that we eat which can honestly be a royal pain, but the good news is that most places are gluten aware. There are those hole in the wall places in the middle of nowhere that we can never find anything to eat, but we can always pack a snack.
The first time that you go grocery shopping or out to eat can be overwhelming after being told that you can never eat gluten again. Don’t have a breakdown in the baked good section of the grocery store or stomp out of the restaurant thinking that you can’t eat anything off the menu, but rather follow these simple tips.
The internet is a wonderful tool in educating yourself on gluten free. I know the first time I read about Celiac Disease on the internet all I could focus on was what I could never eat again and yes I almost had a breakdown! The fact that I could never eat my favorite cereal or bread was almost too much to handle!
Make a list of gluten free items that could substitute your favorite gluten foods. The good news is that natural items like meat, chicken, fruits and vegetables are gluten free. I know who wants to hear about healthy items when cocoa puffs will never be in your diet again.
Most items are marked with allergen warnings thanks to the labeling law, but you still need to be aware of where gluten lurks. Carmel color, modified food starch and flavorings all could contain gluten.
I stick to the basics at the store and unless I know or it states gluten free, I do not buy it.
There are so many flours to choose from it can be mind blowing and since I am not much of a baker mixes like Pamela’s are fantastic. Bob’s Red Mill flours will work as well. As far as healthy grains that is something you will want to work with your doctor to finds out what is lacking in your diet.
More companies are on getting on the band wagon with gluten free, like Betty Crocker and General Mills. Once you have your list and an idea, grocery shopping won’t be so bad the first time. What is nice is that sometimes people will give their opinions in the gluten free isle as far as what is a good item to choose. Wegman’s and Whole Foods are excellent for these choices, but Giant is great too.
Going out to eat can be more of a challenge. When the waitress asks you if that means that you cannot have wheat toast, you wonder if you should get up and leave. Find out via internet or like the old days pick up the phone and call the restaurant to see if they have a gluten free menu or if not can they accommodate gluten free. Most of us would rather just go with the flow and not make a so called scene, but why would you rather be sick then ask when going out to eat is a luxury?
Gluten free is hard I am not going to lie, but with a little effort and education it is better than taking a bunch of pills and or going through painful treatments the rest of your life. Yes I am still waiting for gluten free cocoa puffs, but until then I know that I can have my Hershey’s chocolate and eat it too.
------------------- Author Information: Patricia Middendorf